Happy Solstice

It’s a rare day that snow pictures end up on this blog, but some people seem to be into this kind of stuff so I figured what the heck, they are kind of pretty, sort of like microscopic virus photos or the closeup of a horsefly’s eye… so here they are.  As we enter the longest night of the year it’s a taste of cold sunshine from Saturday morning.

frosty winter morning

 I love Pinus densiflora ‘Burke’s Red Variegated’.  It’s supposed to resist winter browning, but here it is with some winter browning.

frosty winter morning

The polished buds of European beech surrounded by the russet glow of Panicum ‘Dallas Blues’ seedheads.

frosty winter morning

More Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues’, a switch grass who’s bluish summer foliage is followed by a winter long reddish foliage which holds up fairly well to lighter snow loads and winter winds.   

frosty winter morning

Silly rose it’s winter, and you’re deciduous.

frosty winter morning

We ended up with about a foot of snow.  Faced with cyber school the kids didn’t even get a day off.

frosty winter morning

It’s been a good year for Amsonia hubrichtii.  The yellow in autumn was better than ever and now there’s even some color left for the first few weeks of winter. 

frosty winter morning

A gentle snowfall marks off the hedges and beds of the potager.

frosty winter morning

The bright sunshine and cold clear air brings sparkle to just about everything.

frosty winter morning

I had been itching to strimmer the stray weeds and wild asters on the berm, who would have thought the juncos would flock in to enjoy the tiny aster seedheads. 

frosty winter morning

It’s always hit or miss as to how the Southern magnolia seedlings make it through the ups and downs of a NEPa winter.  

Now it’s a slow wobble back to summer as the days again increase in length and the ground slowly soaks the heat back up.  Eventually, towards the end of January, our average temperatures should start to rise again and if this winter is anything like the last couple a few witch hazels and winter aconite might dare open a flower or two.  It’s a fun ride.

All the best for a nice, long and cozy solstice night 🙂

24 comments on “Happy Solstice

  1. johnvic8 says:

    I’m sure glad I’m snug and warm. Anyway, have a Blessed Christmas and keep those interesting blogs coming. Stay safe.

    • bittster says:

      Haha, snow always seems much more appealing in photos or viewed through a window… or from a couple hundred miles South!
      All the best and Happy New Year to you 🙂

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    I’m glad you left your plants for wildlife to enjoy – watching birds helps me get through the dull, winter months. This year is an irruptive year for pine siskins– between them and the goldfinches, they’re going through a ton of thistle seed. But worth it for the enjoyment they give.
    Happy Solstice, Frank… only 6 months to the full flush of June blooms! 😉

    • bittster says:

      I still haven’t picked up any birdseed! Usually I get it in the feeder in the week or two before the holidays and then the birds find it by the time I’m off work, but this year I’m off on my timing.
      I’ll pick some up this week, I promise. It’s just too entertaining to watch who shows up and all that feeder drama. Happy New Year!

  3. Pauline says:

    Lovely pictures of your snow, very seasonal! So glad the birds found lots to eat in your garden.
    Happy Christmas to you and yours.

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    The very reason why you should leave lots of the stalks of spent plants. The critters do enjoy them. Your garden looks nice with its blanket of snow. It looks like quite a bit of snow to me. Fun.

    • bittster says:

      Our snow has melted and fallen anew and melted again in the past week and a half. Now it’s supposed to get a little colder, so we’ll see if winter is getting serious about this season.
      The garden can sleep for a few days until I start poking around again 😉

  5. Always interesting, always fun — love your view of the gardening world, Frank. I have a clump of asters next to the back porch and the juncos are having a party. So glad that, like you, I left them standing. Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas. P. x

    • bittster says:

      I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday season. It was a quiet one for sure!
      I was surprised how popular the asters were. I actually mowed quite a few down just after the bloom season wound down, but will not be doing that again next year. More seeds for the birds!

  6. Ian Lumsden says:

    You have made a good article out of the snow, Frank. All the best for Christmas. Not that it is going to be an extended family time for us this year given Covid restrictions.

    • bittster says:

      I hope you made the best out of the holiday season. It appears extended family time is again on hold over there. I’m hoping for some kind of rounding the corner this month and it can’t come soon enough with all the messes going on.
      Stay safe.

  7. Cathy says:

    I am a day late, but happy solstice Frank! It may take a while to notice a difference, but the prospect of more daylight is a pleasant one and I am impatient to get some snow like yours to brighten things up! It looks so pretty in your garden. Your Panicum does stand up well to the snow doesn’t it. Mine has flopped already after the ice/rain we had, so I will definitely look out for Dallas Blues in future as I am planning on planting a lot more gaürasses next year! Enjoy the snow! 😃

    • bittster says:

      So far I haven’t noticed any more sunlight than before, but if I keep telling myself the days are growing again and hopefully that helps us get through the cold and grey!
      I do like the grasses in the snow… and actually most of the winter, but some hold up much better. ‘Karl Foerster’ is looking slightly worn but still upright as well as the Panicums, but the miscanthus are falling apart and shedding blades all over, the Arundo has been cut back for the same fault, also the Molina ‘Skyracer’ flops as soon as snow gets into it. But on the other hand even a floppy Panicum is better than a barren winter garden, so I’m really not complaining!

  8. Annette says:

    Thanks for the magical pics of your winter wonderland, Frank! Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful Christmas. 🙂

  9. Chloris says:

    The only way I can enjoy snow is in pictures so thanks for yours. I hope your snowdrops are all snug underneath it all. Happy Christmas to you and yours Frank.

    • bittster says:

      I hope your holiday season was a safe and relaxing one. You’re not missing anything with a lack of snow, if you ever look you’ll find that snow and ice pictures rarely show up on this blog. I don’t like looking back in August and thinking about these boring days, so it’s always right back to plants!

  10. Lisa Rest says:

    Your pictures are beautiful. We have not had any significant snow yet so you have made me look forward to our inevitable deluge. Snow would make our sunny 12 degrees more authentic. Even I feel the urge to trim things back but I have left it all to the birds and bugs and will welcome snow making it prettier. Happy Holidays and wishing the best.

    • bittster says:

      Thanks, and I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season!
      It’s the grey and gloomy days which bother me more than the snowy, cold and bright days, so as long as we get a few more of those I’ll be just fine.
      Actually that’s not entirely true. I can do without a nasty cold wind as well!

      • Lisa Rest says:

        I’m having a harder time than usual dealing with the grey and gloomy – as I think we all are, confined more. You’re right – bright, sunny and windy is like – not fair! 🙂

  11. Your photos do evoke all those Winter senses. But as I wake to a coolish Georgia winter morning, I am content to experience it on my I Pad, not in person! And experiencing your photos is always a joy!

    • bittster says:

      Haha! You had enough cold and snow to fill your quota, so I completely understand. Just keep us northerners in mind as you struggle to put on a light jacket for your neighborhood strolls and visits to the waterfront 😉

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